Proposition 57 is going to do very bad things to this state. Californians voted for it because the prop promised that "nonviolent" inmates, who became better people in prison, could get early parole if they demonstrated that they're no longer a danger to the public.
The problem with Prop 57 is that the definition of "nonviolent" is incredibly broad. There are many disgusting crimes considered "nonviolent" under Prop 57:
- Rape by intoxication
- Rape of an unconscious person
- Human trafficking involving sex act with minors
- Drive-by shooting
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Taking a hostage
- Domestic violence involving trauma
- Supplying a firearm to a gang member
- Lewd acts upon a child
- Hate crime causing physical injury
- Failing to register as a sex offender
- Arson causing great bodily injury
- Felon obtaining a firearm
- Discharging a firearm on school grounds
- False imprisonment of an elder
Why would the state grant any kind of early parole to a person who committed any one of those crimes? And how are we supposed to be okay with them back on the streets? The criminals are using California's prison policies to their advantage and we're paying dearly for it.
Anne Marie Schubert is the Sacramento County District Attorney. She warned voters about the dangers of Prop 57 before it passed last November, and says concerns over the dangers to come are legitimate:
"Among the 135 Sacramento County offenders eligible for parole is a gang member who received a 28-year sentence in 2012 after he shot up the car of a Washington couple visiting Sacramento for a wedding. He was convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, personal use of a firearm and committing his crimes for the benefit of the Sureno street gang. Two years earlier, he had been convicted of armed carjacking.
We believe he is not even eligible for release. Yet, his name is on our list, and he would be free almost 17 years earlier than his original sentence.
Another inmate on the list is up for parole consideration after serving about one-fourth of his 19-year sentence for felony assault with a glass bottle. Twice before, he had gone to prison for shooting into an inhabited house and robbery.
These alarming cases are not outliers. Crimes in this initial batch include child endangerment, felony assault, felons with firearms, recklessly evading peace officers and even crimes committed in prison. Many of the offenders have lengthy criminal histories..."
Click here to continue reading her full piece in the Sacramento Bee.